To Americans, Mexico has been associated with cheap prescription drugs for decades. It’s proximity to the US has actually made it a top destination for medical tourism of all kinds. Mostly because healthcare costs there are 40-65% lower than in America with some studies showing a savings as high as 70%. It all depends on the procedure or treatment.
It is not just Americans heading to balmy Mexico. The country is ranked as the second most popular medical tourism destination, with only Thailand getting more patients. Over a million patients a year travel to Mexico. Of those, over 50,000 are Americans seeking dental work and another large group getting weight loss surgery with cosmetic surgery and fertility treatments experiencing tremendous growth in recent years.
Over 100 hospitals have been certified by the Federal Ministry of Health in Mexico and 98 of them meet international standards for care. The International Joint Commission which has begun certifying hospitals and clinics around the world for health tourism has already accredited seven Mexican hospitals. Two American hospital groups even own hospitals across Mexico, assuring Americans, Canadian, and European patients that they will receive the top care available in state-of-the-art facilities.
Treatments Available in Mexico
Weight loss treatment is a big draw for medical tourism in Mexico. There are four hospitals in Monterrey alone that offer weight-management programs. These hospitals offer American-accredited treatments and bariatric surgery cost 40-60% of what patients would pay in the US.
Dentistry is huge in Mexico. As stated above, Americans travel in growing numbers to get dental work here. This includes everything from simple office visits, cleanings, and fillings by those in border states to crowns, bridges, dentures and cosmetic dentistry. The country is also known for pediatric dentistry. Patients travel from Europe as well as North and Central America to get the top-notch dental services offered in Mexico.
A growing demand for fertility and reproductive treatments has created a regional specialty in the “Mayan Riviera.” Along the Yucatan Peninsula, several clinics have opened in the past few years, attracting international patients from Canada, the US, and Europe. This is due to the low cost of donor eggs as well as looser laws about reproductive procedures that allow for gender selection and other treatments that are illegal in the UK, Canada, and elsewhere.
Other medical tourism Mexico areas of care that are popular with medical travelers include ophthalmology, cardiology, oncology, gastroenterology, orthopedics and cosmetic surgery as well as general surgery and diagnostics.
Top Medical Tourism Destinations in Mexico
Top destinations for medical tourist on the coast, with those sunny beaches just out the hospital window, include Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, San Luis Potosi, and Mazatlan. In the Baja area there are vineyards and breweries to tour, historic missions and, of course miles and miles of beaches, coves, and bays. Local markets offer a variety of handicrafts and artisans and the seafood is legendary.
Those wanting to stay close to the US border can check out Mexicali, Reynosa, Ensenda, Nuevo Laredo, Cuidad Juarez, Tecate, and, of course, Tijuana. Every border town has its own character and attractions, with modern medical facilities as well as luxurious hotels, spas, and resorts.
An urban resort experience can be found in interior cities like Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Mexico City. As the capital of the country, Mexico City is filled with a mixture of ancient and historic sites such as the Museum of the Templo Mayor as well as modern architecture, dining and nightlife.
When seeking medical treatment in any foreign country it is important to do thorough research ahead of time. Make sure that the facility is accredited and check the training and credentials of individual doctors and medical professionals. In Mexico this will be easier than in many other foreign countries as most hospitals have English-speaking staffs and many doctors offer Skype consultations to answer all questions about procedures and treatment ahead of time as well as to provide follow up consultations.